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New 'Finding Dory' trailer: What made 'Nemo' such a hit?

'Finding Dory,' a sequel to the 2003 smash hit 'Finding Nemo,' comes out this June. What helped the original movie do so well at the box office?

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A new trailer has been released for the Pixar film “Finding Dory,” a “Finding Nemo” sequel that is scheduled to be released this June.

“Dory” features the return of “Nemo” actors Ellen DeGeneres (Dory) and Albert Brooks (Marlin) as well as new additions such as Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, and Ed O’Neill.

The film centers on Dory’s efforts to find her family as well as encountering old friends and, judging from the trailer, also meeting some humans.

With “Dory,” Pixar has crafted a sequel to one of its biggest hits, a movie that is still one of the studio’s highest-grossing films more than 10 years later. (Only “Inside Out” and “Toy Story 3” have made more domestically than “Nemo.”)

What made the fishy film such a big hit when it was released in the summer of 2003? 

Release date certainly helped. “Finding Nemo,” “Inside Out,” and “Toy Story 3” were all released in the summer, a time of year when parents are no doubt looking for an all-ages feature. It’s not until you get to the sixth-highest-grossing Pixar movie, “The Incredibles,” that you find one that didn’t open during the warmer months. 

Against a backdrop of action-filled movies, a Pixar movie can stand out as something different. “Inside” proved to be a steady performer during the summer, even coming in at number one during the competitive July 4 weekend. 

Media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Variety at the time that newer movies like “Terminator: Genisys” found it difficult going against “Inside” and “Jurassic World.”

"Those two holdover films are tough to open against because they are still drawing all demographics,” he explained.

Critical acclaim also contributed to the success of “Nemo,” which later won the Oscar for Best Animated Movie. As Gregory M. Lamb wrote at the time for The Christian Science Monitor, " 'Finding Nemo' is going to make a big splash with young children. And parents or grandparents who dive in with them are likely to have a great time, too… [an] animated delight." 

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Pixar when "Nemo" was released, also pointed out that Pixar's "brand" had become a selling point, Wall Street Journal writer Bruce Orwall noted at the time.

The studio had already released both “Toy Story” and its sequel as well as the popular film “Monsters, Inc.,” among other successful movies.

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